Ask The Dog Guide: Strange Noise after Drinking

January 7th, 2008 by Dan

Question: Hi. I have a Chihuahua named Tessa. I am concerned she is sick. After she drinks she makes a strange noise as if she is choking. It sounds like an inhale and a strange exhale.

Answer: I’m sure you are concerned! It can be very frightening to not understand what is going on with our pets, especially tiny ones who seem to be fragile. It sounds like Tessa may have a collapsing trachea. This condition is very common in toy breeds such as Chihuahuas, Yorkshire Terriers and Pomeranians. Dogs suffering from a collapsing trachea may make a “honking” sound when they are over excited, eat rapidly, drink or are exposed to irritants in the air. Though it is not exactly known why, the rings of cartilage that makes up the trachea begins to collapse, thus causing airflow to be blocked, leading to the strange noise you are hearing.

If you take your pup into the vet and explain what is going on, there is a very good chance they will confirm this is indeed a collapsing trachea. They may want to do further diagnostics including radiographs (x-rays) to determine the severity of the issue. Sometimes Veterinarians will treat this issue with cough suppressants or steroids to control inflammation. If your dog is overweight, often a diet will be suggested. In general a dog with a collapsing trachea should not be walked on a collar; a harness should be used as to keep pressure off of the neck.

3 Responses to “Ask The Dog Guide: Strange Noise after Drinking”

  1. chili dog lover Says:

    The choking sound that a dachshund sometimes makes is a result of damage to the rings of their trachea. This damaged IS CAUSED by the pressure on the dogs neck when they pull against their collar. The younger the dog, the more the damage. You might think that the dog will “eventually learn to stop pulling” since it’s choking itself, but what will happen sooner is that the dog will permanently damage it’s trachea. The best way to prevent this is to get the dog a harness, but not just any harness. It must be built for the dog’s conformation. There are internet sites that have you measure your dog’s girth, length, etc. Been there with my dachshunds and feel bad about my ignorance with my first dog. She chokes every time she greets us when we come in the door. So sad.

  2. Dan Says:

    While a collapsing trachea can sometimes be attributed to damage caused by a small breed dog wearing a collar, in some cases the collapse of the rings has nothing to do with the type of device used to restrain the dog. There is evidence that there is a genetic link in toy breeds that makes this a more prevalent issue. However, like Chilidoglover said, if you have a dog who is experiencing this issue, a harness is a much better choice. I actually recommend using them on all small breeds to keep pressure off of the throat.

  3. Craig Says:

    My new female rescue dog makes a sound like someone step on her foot after drinking. I have never heard of that, anyone know why

Leave a Reply